North Side boy's death from bacterial meningitis doesn't put public at risk, health department says

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A 6-year-old North Side boy died Wednesday from bacterial meningitis, but the Allegheny County Health Department said today the community is not at risk.

“Obviously it’s important that people recognize this is not a threat at this time,” health department director Karen Hacker said.

Preliminary lab results indicate that the child did not have the type of meningitis that requires treatment of people who had close contact, the health department said.

After having been sick for several days, the boy was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he died a short time later, at 9 p.m. Wednesday, said Ronald Voorhees, acting chief at the Office of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Dr. Voorhees said meningitis can start as a spiking fever and general sickeness, but rapidly worsen, adding it’s “heartbreaking that way.”

The Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said the boy, whose name has not been released, lived on Mount Pleasant Road. He was vaccinated, Dr. Voorhees said.

Additional tests are expected to determine the type of bacterial meningitis, the health department said.


Lexi Belculfine: lbelculfine@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1878 or on . Twitter @LexiBelc. First Published March 6, 2014 4:24 PM

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